Following a meeting with Andrew McCormick, Permanent Secretary to the Department of Health, Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson said that she believes the development of a North West Health Innovation Corridor (NWHIC) holds major potential for economic regeneration and job creation in the North West.

Martina Anderson said:

“I launched the North West Health Innovation Corridor concept in Derry in May 2013 and have been working with the Health Department and a number of interested parties ever since.

“As part of this ongoing endeavour I met with the Permanent Secretary of the Department of Health, Andrew McCormick on Friday 3rd Jan to discuss the potential of the emerging Health Innovation Sector as a prime future economic driver, delivering high end jobs and business creation as well as outcomes that will address health inequalities.

“The North West is perfectly placed to grow this sector given the assets already in place such as C-TRIC, CAWT, Bamford Mental Health, ISRC, BMSIR, Stratified Medicine, Letterkenny and Sligo Institutes of Technology.

“The vision for the NWHIC is that by 2020 the Northwest of Ireland would be internationally recognised as a Health and Social Science Research and Innovation Zone, driving the regional economy by creating sustainable growth in employment. While offering prestige employment opportunities to academics and graduates the economic spin-off effects of an NWHIC would relieve pressures of unemployment in the most deprived groups in our communities and improve general Health and Social well-being in the population through the use of the most advanced technology.

“Collaboration between third level Educational Institutions in Derry and Coleraine and those in the 26 counties would allow the NWHIC to facilitate networking and knowledge sharing and increase collaborative research and business opportunities at regional and EU levels. This would create healthcare related manufacturing, delivery, services and funding opportunities across the North West.

“I am hopeful that this initiative will get the support at the appropriate governmental levels needed to strategically support and strengthen such Healthcare Innovation and enterprise in the Northwest region.”